Five Reasons to Camp at Virginia State Parks

Virginia State Parks are a great option for affordable camping. Whether you tent camp or RV camp, these campsites and amenities are perfect for family vacations and weekend getaways in Virginia.

As the weather cools down, we start planning our fall family camping trips. Where do we usually pop our tents? Generally, we head to a Virginia State Park. These beautiful and affordable destinations make for the perfect weekend getaway. Here are a few reasons you may want to pack your tent and head to one of our state’s great parks as well.

Affordability

State residents may camp in a standard tent site for under $27 per night. Out-of-state visitors can camp for under $31 per night. Sites with electricity and water for campers run between $30-35 for any park across the state if you’re from Virginia. If you’re camping from outside the state, you won’t pay any more than $44. Most sites run about $35.

 If you’re a repeat visitor like we are, you can sign up for the Customer Loyalty Program. You earn 20 points for every dollar you spend when you reserve camp sites. You can then redeem these points for free or reduced rate stays! Bonus!

Less Primitive Lodging Available

 Most Virginia parks also have cabins available, but you’ll want to reserve the well in advance. These options vary greatly in price, but some locations offer lodges with as many as six bedrooms! Smaller cabins tend to run about $130 or less per night in the prime season. Efficiency-sized cabins can be reserved for under $90!

The more adventurous among you might want to check to see if your desired park has a yurt. This cross between a tent and a cabin will take you back in time to the ancient nomadic shelters of centuries ago. These are equipped with beds, and some even have electricity and air-conditioning.

 Long Camping Season

Most campgrounds in Virginia parks stay fully operational from early March to early December. Primitive sites stay open year-round.

 Quiet Hours

Generators are not allowed at Virginia State Parks, and quiet hours are strictly enforced by park police from 10 pm to 6 am. This is great for families!

Awesome Bath Houses

I’ve camped in a variety of places, and I’ve never seen bathhouses as clean and well-maintained as those in Virginia State Parks. If you have to share a shower with others, these are big, inviting, and spotless!

Festivals

Virginia State Parks often have festivals and fun events throughout the year. For instance, Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry hosts the Pork, Peanut, and Pine Festival where crafters, artisans, food vendors, and historians come together to for a fun weekend annual gathering in mid-July. Other parks host races, sports tournaments, wine tastings, craft fairs, and art shows each month.

Virginia State Parks have many festivals
Boats gather on the James River just outside of Chippokes Plantation State Park.

Scenery

Virginia State Parks are on some of the most beautiful land on the East Coast. Whether you enjoy mountains, trout streams, rivers, or the ocean, there’s a park for you.

History

Several of Virginia’s historic sites, plantations, and farms have been turned into state parks. Chippokes Plantation State Park and Belle Isle State Park are two parks complete with camping that continue to be working farms. Most parks across the state encompass land with a rich history. Rangers there are eager to share the stories!

Trails

Enjoy horseback riding? Some Virginia State Parks have equestrian-friendly campsites complete with stalls for your buddy. All you need to bring are the horsie pajamas, feed, saddles, and the carrots!

Want to hit the trails on foot or on your mountain bike? Hundreds of miles of trails cut through park lands. Horses are welcome, too! Just check out the signs. Do you kids enjoy bike riding? There are miles of quiet hard surface roads through some parks like Chippokes State Park or Belle Isle State Park. Just bring the helmet!

Amenities

 Kids need a playground? Check that box. Most parks have inviting playgrounds with safe surfaces. Some even have areas separated by age so little ones can play safely, too.

Love to swim? Some parks, like Chippokes or Westmoreland have big pools. Others, like Sherando Lake have a beach access to a gorgeous mountain lake. Kiptopeke offers Chesapeake Bay access right from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. First Landing State Park is right on the Atlantic Ocean. Pocahontas State Park in Richmond even has a waterpark! Swimming is a big deal in these parks.

Interested in taking a trip, but not sure where to go? Check the VA State Parks website for ideas. Also, check back here for reviews on parks we’ve visited around the state. If you’ve traveled to any parks lately, please share your experiences in the comments below!

Scavenger hunts and journals give kids the chance to observe their natural world then journal about what they see. Emergent readers and writers especially will benefit from this product.
Virginia State Parks are great places to hike. Why not give your little folks a chance to practice their writing and observation skills with this activity?
Blood on the River task cards contain higher order thinking discussion questions and writing prompts to improve writing skills, critical thinking, and reading comprehension.
Here’s a product from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for reading comprehension that supports Virginia history studies as well!

 

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